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Nick Aiezza

In Mason Jars



A man trips walking his cat and cement proven

stronger than nose bones and now a free cat in the slack.

He has the nerve to say the fracture is a surrealist painting.

Someone says the moon never calms and the same girl who says that

wakes up every morning like Sunday morning lazy in the pull

of reds across her eyes, that is her point: her cold feet on my legs:

some sounds are made and others paper strings

plucked on a cello when using a bow is a fire hazard

we close our eyes tight enough bed sheets

kicked away shout and we don’t hear them.

Fireflies in the country live in mason jars for a short

while if there are holes punched through the cap with sprigs of grass

stuffed in the glass alongside mulberry leaves and pine twigs, they light

like ammunition and we remember cats live outdoors when some

people break their noses. We stay like this for a couple of months

undressing each other. Only decorating mason jars with wine.

Move to another town when we start using the term Lightning Bugs.

Forget everything we know about saucepans and eat raw food.

Sit still and we still crawl at the pace of Earth’s rotation moving

stationary swings: never thinking once to walk a cat as the right

choice when the litter box fits like a wool necktie

between any toilet and tub.

Toothbrushes rested on the sink

roll into each other when hot water

burns the drain.



The Edge of a Dollar



Brooklyn storm drains sound like any swollen countryside creek

flooded where local pigeons gather to scrub cigarette sludge

collected in train basins at Smith and Ninth for flight

is only possible if birds have clean wings and flight seems

little more than an overhead view of armed robbery

from a fourth floor window where sympathy floats by like fog

against low lit windows of vintage Red Hook apartments

filled with sparse rooms because tenants spend their money

on typewriters and books in bizarre efforts at inspiration

rather than navigating sidewalks to the café using scaffolding

like monkey bars they order French Toast and Bloody Marys

risking snide comments about the “Bloody French!”

that rarely fly over brunch or anytime they’ve eaten every line

they’ll write for the day when these are nightmares of trains crashing

into Smith Street how iron wheels twist like doughnuts on fire

witnesses spelling ‘Sweat’ with two E’s these sirens and paper bags

burn ribbons from Remingtons within a six block radius then lunch in the park

leaves picked from trees like barbwire are healthy enough without wind

blown across the green to the East River where they could reach the ocean

if they float a bit but rather cinder to scrapped car parts and other metals

snug in the riverbed for the echo of Manhattan undressed by river current at dusk

now clean the edge of a dollar used to scrape Hollandaise from fingernails

sunlight rolls under the expressway and the pen on the windowsill soaks up sundown

a muffler explodes and pulls it to the sidewalk by morning

flight is a puddle of ink pigeons dip their feet into and blacken the sidewalk

where traffic on West Ninth Street crawls past

radios and car horns mute outside words walked

along concrete pigeon-toed into places stray food was plucked

from the fingers of the sidewalk rain washes the beak brought back to sky .



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